“Here is a tragic fact: Only about one out of a hundred ‘missionary decisions’ results in actual career mission service.” – Missiologist Dr. Ralph D. Winter1
A tiny percentage of the young people who begin to pursue cross-cultural ministry end up on the field. Without mentors to walk alongside them and to guide them as they prepare, the vast majority of these young people never end up serving among the least-reached.
That’s why we’re so excited about Christar apprenticeships. This innovative program allows individuals preparing for cross-cultural service to learn about ministry among the least-reached through hands-on experience, under the guidance of experienced workers. Participants gain ministry experience among least-reached populations in the United States, helping them develop the skills they’ll need for effective long-term service.
Each participant is paired up with a mentor who has served in a least-reached community, a mentor who is committed to helping the apprentice develop personally and grow in his or her love for the Lord.
“Doing Things That I Never Would Have Imagined …”
Christar apprenticeships are designed to address the unique needs of each participant, from recent Bible college graduates who’ve never lived on their own to people like Leah*, who have a passion for missions but little cross-cultural experience. Leah, preparing to serve in South Asia, shares,
I come from a really, really small town in the Midwest. I have had very little cross-cultural experience and had never been to Bible school. I felt like the last person qualified to be a missionary, but God had given me a heart for the least-reached and I decided to trust that He would prepare me.
God is preparing Leah through a Christar apprenticeship in the Dallas area. The program has been challenging, Leah says, and she’s seeing the Lord use many aspects of it to equip her for life and ministry in a least-reached community:
Even seemingly small things like learning to drive in city traffic or having to cook for myself have been really helpful for me. God is really good; He has had me doing things that I never would have imagined. And the best thing is, it is bringing me closer to Him.
Serving the Community, Serving the Church
Many Christar apprentices complete their apprenticeships in the Dallas area, allowing them to learn from the experienced workers serving at the Christar Mobilization Center U.S. This area provides a wealth of opportunities for cross-cultural ministry. There, many apprentices get to interact with the very people groups among whom they hope to work in the future.
Regardless of where they complete the program, each apprentice serves in two cross-cultural contexts: outreach in a least-reached community and ministry within a church. This helps prepare them to serve on Christar church-planting teams, in roles that involve sharing the gospel, discipleship and partnering with local believers.
Leah is not only living and serving in a neighborhood with a large refugee population; she’s also serving within a culturally South Asian church.
Zack, who directs the apprenticeship program, is excited as he sees apprentices grow, mature and learn new things as they prepare for the field. He shares, “One of the things that continues to amaze me is the ways that God has gone before the apprentices and prepared things for them that I could not have better planned myself.”
We praise God for going before our apprentices and using this program to prepare them for effective ministry among the least-reached!
How can I get involved?
- Praise God for those currently taking part in the Christar apprenticeship program.
- Ask God to use the apprenticeship program to prepare these individuals for effective church-planting ministry.
- Pray for wisdom for mentors as they walk alongside apprentices.
- Ask God to work through Christar apprentices as they participate in outreach among least-reached people.
Your gift to the Christar Mobilization Center U.S. allows us to walk alongside our workers so that they can minister effectively in least-reached communities.
1 Shadrach, Steve. The Key to World Evangelization. Retrieved from http://www.thetravelingteam.org/?q=node/141